Books into Bread
Over the years, I have discovered that one talks about the things one loves. That saying is certainly true for me. That's why I want to tell you about Parson's Porch.
My idea for Parson's Porch began about 30 years ago. Once out of seminary, I was soon frustrated by the way Church was being done by the congregation I served. It seemed to me that most of the ideas which received the most energy was about buildings and budgets. Trying to help someone in need was tedious, to say the least. After years of growing frustrated, I determined a better way for me to accomplish what I felt God was calling me to do. In 2004, Parson's Porch was established, and today it continues to be the most challenging and rewarding ministry for me to do.
Parson's Porch has a double focus: Books and Bread.
First, we turn words into books. We seek creative authors to submit to us their manuscripts so we can publish a book for them. We do not charge for our service. We simply depend on the books we publish to sell through an online bookstore like Parson's Porch Books, Amazon, and other online outlets. Once a book sells, the author is paid a royalty, and the poor are helped.
Second, we turn books into bread. There are 438 homeless people in our city, and it our goal to establish relationships with each of them in order to help them by 1) meeting their physical needs of shelter, food, and clothing. and, 2) helping them with their pastoral and spiritual needs.
We use money from the sale of books and donations from our friends to support this effort.
Each weekday, I eat and drink with the poor and homeless at the Community Kitchen. Also, I have the esteemed honor to preach a sermon each day at Noon before the hot meal is served at 12:30 pm. To say the least, this assignment keeps me challenged to make the Bible relevant to a congregation of great people, many of whom are prostitutes, convicts, thieves, con-artists, and drug addicts and all of whom are in need of pastoral care and spiritual direction. We also work closely with Salvation Army and the Emergency Shelter in Cleveland.
So, thanks for reading this email. If you would like to help us, please pray that our ministry will be effective as we preach the good news of God's Love, and give a donation to help us buy socks and shoes, coats and toboggans, and blankets and sleeping bags for my friends.